The campaign consists of 3 scenarios; it is a mix of B&D, FF and RPG. The events take place in France and follow the early life of Richard son of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, later known as Richard I, the Lionhearted. The story is a mix of historical events and fiction.
PLAYABILITY: I like the campaign, primarily for its theme, even though it is not historically accurate. The playability is hardly average due to some easy to fix issues. In 'Defense of Aquitaine', a B&D, bandits attack during your build up, mostly one by one, different locations on hard, but you can convert many at your gate, save resources for an army. Later there is no challenge razing the nobles' castle from outside the north wall as the enemy did not build up missing a lumber camp. Their villagers have a long walk around the walls to chop wood, did only 1369 wood when I gave them plenty of time (player 1, 13'891 wood) and never started farming, 0 food collected on hard difficulty. 'The rebellion', a FF has a good start, later you destroy a gate against little resistance and again your main enemy did not build up, all enemy units, military and villagers, gather in the west walled corner. You can enter the town from the east and free Eleanor without a fight or first massacre the enemy units with your long-bowmen over the walls, the gates are locked. In 'The heir to Henry II', a mix of RPG and FF, you can skip the first skirmishes, the trees do not block and the villager's help not needed. When I met the man with the boat I had to take an uneventful travel across the whole map locating a gold mine I did before, again trees do not block as intended. 3-
BALANCE: I played the campaign on hard and it was too easy. The first scenario seems to be difficulty level dynamic, not sure if it works as intended as you receive messages for all levels on hard. There was no challenge due to bugs referred to under playability; I had the only reload at the start of the second scenario. 2-
CREATIVITY: All aspects factor into creativity, the side quests, the wise man, the in game, between the scenarios developing story in form of a journal and the history section were creative. 3+
MAP DESIGN: The maps are just random map quality, but no elevations apart from cliffs. In addition, the first and second scenario uses the same map which is not bad by itself, there are good and bad reuses of maps at the blacksmith; here they fall in the later category. The enemies and the wise man are at the same locations, no exploring necessary and the walls are square. 2+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: The campaign has clear objectives, hints, a history section and an in game and during the scenarios developing story in form of a journal which was well made. The campaign's portrayed events are too fictitious for a historical campaign. 4
OVERALL: A campaign with a lack of play testing.
SUGGESTIONS: First scenario, disenable the monastery for player 1, place a lumber camp for the nobles at the forest and a gate in the northern wall. Second scenario, trigger 0 effect 7 tasks all player 3 units to the barracks of your starting position; it should be the Teutonic Knights only, set the objects or area. Third scenario, complete the tree-line in front of your starting position and the gold mine, to make them impassable. Trigger 4 effect 2 tasks a villager to chop a TD tree, to clear the path, but three effects, 0, 1 and 5 of the same trigger remove the villager and the tree. When you fix make sure to first deactivate trigger 2 and then task the villager to chop wood. Fix the bugs and I will edit my review.
OBSERVATIONS: Richard the Lionhearted-Early life v1.0 was Mk101's entry for the Historical Campaign Contest 2005 at AoKH.
It was Henry II who intercepted his wife when she wanted to join her three sons in the rebellion of 1173-1174 and put her into prison, not her son Henry the young king and she stayed in prison for at least 10 years. Primarily it was young Henry's rebellion quite peculiar to give him the role of a traitor in the campaign. The reasons for the rebellion, Henry II gave titles to his sons but kept the power, reigned himself, and the civil war begun when Henry II wanted to give Anjou to his youngest son John because Henry the young king considered all what his father had as his heritage, England, the Normandy and Anjou. Richard was the heir of his mother Eleanor for Aquitaine, while Geoffrey was engaged with the heritress of the Bretagne. Henry the young king (he was not Henry III that was his nephew, John's son) teamed up with William I of Scotland, English nobles and Louis VII of France where his brothers joined him at his court. Louis VII was the ex-husband of Eleanor and father of young Henry's wife. The rebellion included Scotland, England and France and Henry II was victorious in every battle. Young Henry was not a traitor to his brother, he simply realized that he could not win against his father and he and Geoffrey made peace with him before stubborn Richard did. In 1183 Richard refused to honor young Henry, swear an oath on a relic as Henry II wanted. Richard left for Aquitaine and Henry II proposed to his other sons to attack him in Aquitaine. Later Henry II sided with Richard to save him and they defeated together Geoffrey, young Henry and John. After young Henry's death Richard became heir to the throne and Henry II thought again that it was time for John to get some land, this time Aquitaine. Richard went to war against his father, defeated him and John was without land until he followed Richard on the throne, hence the name John Lackland.